Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Whitworth junior receives new scholarship designed for computer science majors

Whitworth's mathematics and computer science department has finalized an annual scholarship for computer science majors through a collaboration with Logos Bible Software. Last month, Whitworth junior Michael Weidemann became the first recipient of the Logos Bible Software Annual Scholarship, worth $2,000.

"The scholarship will help me not have to take out as much for loans, which means I'll be able to pay off my debts a lot more quickly once I graduate," says Weidemann, a double major in computer science and mathematics who is originally from Carson City, Nev.

He adds, "It also helped, along with other scholarships, to allow me to go to Whitworth for my education instead of to a state college. I've really enjoyed my time here and I think I'm learning a lot more not just about computer science, but also about how I see the world."

The scholarship's recipients will be selected each year by faculty in the mathematics and computer science department. Susan Mabry, an associate professor of the math and computer science at Whitworth, was on the selection committee that chose Weidemann as this year's recipient.

"Michael is one of our top-performing computer science students in his cohort," she says. "Beyond his excellent performance in the classroom, he is intelligent, skilled, and adept at critical thinking – all of which lay the basis for exceptional problem solving and are critical for success in computer science."

Mabry says Logos has one of the most organized and impressive internship programs among the many companies with which the computer science program networks. She says Whitworth's computer science faculty were also impressed with the quality of Logos' development and technology.

After a number of successful student internships through Whitworth, Jim Straatman, director of IT at Logos Bible Software, approached the university with the idea for a scholarship. Straatman says Logos seeks top colleges and universities, both regionally and nationally, for long-term scholarship and recruiting partnerships.

"Whitworth has a top-notch computer science program and has produced some great long-term talent," says Straatman.

Weidemann is currently researching Celiac disease with Whitworth faculty and North Central High School students, through help from a $15,000 grant received last December by Empire Health Foundation. Last April, Weidemann gave a presentation at the Spokane Intercollegiate Research Conference on some of his findings, titled, "Creating a Framework to Fight Celiac Disease with Varied Machine Learning Techniques by Combining Desired Protein Traits."

Weidemann says he is planning to pursue a career related to software development, specifically game development.

"I really enjoy building and creating things, and computer science lets me do that," he says. "I especially like building things I can play with later, or that I know will give someone a lot of enjoyment and happiness."

Logos Bible Software has worked with several Whitworth student interns and has employed a number of Whitworth alumni. Logos has also published books by Whitworth President Emeritus Robert H. Mounce, Professor Emeritus of Theology F. Dale Bruner, and Professors of Theology Roger Mohrlang and James R. Edwards. This year, Logos' team will include one returning Whitworth senior and four new interns. Straatman says Logos is always looking for new employees and interns. To learn more, visit http://www.logos.com/jobs or http://www.logos.com/interns.

Weidemann says that he is very grateful to Logos for his scholarship.

"I really appreciate the work they do, and know several other students that have interned there who enjoyed it and learned a lot," he says. "I think they're really helping the computer science students of Whitworth prepare for their careers."

Founded in 1992, Logos Bible Software is the leading publisher of multilingual Bible software on Mac, Windows, and mobile platforms. Logos partners with more than 130 publishers to make nearly 17,000 electronic books available to customers in more than 180 countries. The company serves church, academic, and lay markets, bringing the best in software innovation to Christians worldwide. Logos Bible Software is headquartered in Bellingham, Wash.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Contacts:

Nancy Rau, associate director for donor relations and special events, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4250 or nrau@whitworth.edu.

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or eproffitt@whitworth.edu.